An A to Z: While I Catch Up With Myself …

I didn’t mean to disappear for so long, but I was a little off colour at the start of the week, days have been flying past, and I’ve not quite caught up with myself. I’m nearly there though, and so I think it’s time to to get back into the way of things, with an A to Z …

A is for Amy Leach

A is for Amy Leach

A is for AMY LEACH and ‘Things That Are’ – the book that we wanted to represent Christine when we last played Briar’s game. We couldn’t find it, and so Miss Hargreaves was called in as a last-minute substitute, causing a little bit of confusion. The book has now reappeared.

B is for BIRTHDAY CARDIGAN. Next Friday is my mother’s eightieth birthday, and for the last three years she’s chosen the wool and pattern for a birthday cardigan and watched it grow as I knitted when I visited her. I just have ends, toggles and loops to deal with, and then it’s done. And it will be getting a post of its own next week.

C is for CENTURY. I’m still reading, and I should be done by the end of the year, but it’s going to be tight.

E is for Elizabeth of York

E is for Elizabeth of York

D is for DONNA TARTT. ‘The Goldfinch’ is sitting on the coffee table, and it’s going to be part of my bookish reward when that century is done.

E is for ELIZABETH OF YORK. When I reread ‘The Sunne in Splendour’ I realised that her story was extraordinary, and wondered why there were so few books about her. But then I spotted a new biography by Alison Weir, and I added it to by library ordering list.

F is for FORTY-FIVE. 1945 in my century of books, that is. I had books by Mary Lavin and Betty Miller lined up, but I discovered that Alison Uttley – whose books I had adored as a child – had written two novels for grown-ups, that one of them was published in 1945, and that the library had a copy in reserve stock …

G is for Glove

G is for Glove

G is for GLOVES. I needed pair of gloves, I had some odd balls of yarn kicking about, and so I knitted them, from very good free pattern.

H is for HISTORY. Re-reading ‘The Sunne in Splendour’ and ‘Penmarric’ has reminded me how much I love history, and I plan to read a lot more of it next year, when I’m done with my century.

I is for ITALO CALVINO. I’m very taken with ‘ If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller’ ….

J is for JOB RELATED NEWS. There’s a retirement and a reorganisation coming up, and I’m still going to be company accountant but I’m going to have a little more responsibility. Which is lovely – especially after the problems I had in my last two jobs – but it’s a little bit daunting too.

K is for KNITTING BOOKS. I try not to buy too many knitting books, but I couldn’t resist The Rhinebeck Sweater Book.

L is for The Luminaries

L is for The Luminaries

L is for THE LUMINARIES by Eleanor Catton is also sitting on the coffee table, ready and waiting for my Christmas break.

M is for MICHAEL WALMER – an independent publisher with a lovely list of books that, if you haven’t looked at already, you relly should now.

N is for NOT IN THE CALENDAR: another out-of-print Margaret Kennedy novel that I plan to bring home from the library very soon.

O is for THE OVERWHELMING LIST. Scott’s creation is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in twentieth century women writers.

P is for P P ARNOLD. I heard her gorgeous version of Angel of the Morning on the radio last weekend, and it’s still in my head.

Q is for QUIET. I love the quiet winter evenings, but Briar rather misses watching visitors walking on the promenade from her seat in the bay window.

R is for Rope Toy

R is for Rope Toy

R is for ROPE TOYS. Briar loves them, and now that the evenings are darker and colder, and her walks are of necessity a little shorter, she is pulling them out of her toy box on a regular basis. So that we can play tug, or she can run around the sofa with one in her mouth and I can chase her ….

S is for STATE FAIR CARDIGAN, which is my favourite pattern in a very good new issue of Interweave Knits. I gave up my subscription a couple of years ago, when the quality seemed to be slipping and there was never anything I wanted to knit. but the last few issues suggest that things are looking up again.

T is for THEY WERE SISTERS by Dorothy Whipple. One of those books I’ve been saving to make sure I get to the end of my century, and it’s off the Persephone bookcase and on to the bedside table to be read just as soon as I’ve finished with the young lady who is my letter U.

U is for Undine Spragg

U is for Undine Spragg

U is for UNDINE SPRAGG, who I met again last night when I started re-reading ‘The Custom of the Country’ for my century.

V is for VAIZEY. I read ‘The Daughters of a Genius’ by Mrs George Horne de Vaizey at the weekend. It was lovely, it filled a tricky year in my century, but I was so disappointed with an ending that was ridiculously rushed.

W is for WOODS and it’s been a while since we took Briar to Trevaylor. Maybe this weekend …

X is for XTC, who I have used this letter for times that I ought, but I do love them, and this is King for a Day.

Y is for YARN DIET. It’s held for eleven months now and I think – I hope – it’s taught me to be a more thoughtful shopper. I will buy for a couple of specific projects next year, but I still have yarn in hand and so I have to strike a balance and knit more of that too.

Z is for ZZZZZZ. There’s a dog asleep in her chair in the bay window …

29 responses

  1. I always love your A-Z posts; they’re so clever and fun. (And I, too, find Calvino’s book If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller an interesting and memorable read.

  2. I just met Undine, at long last, and she’s delightfully horrible (horribly delightful?)! I’m glad about your job news…they clearly know they have the right person on hand! And I love your birthday cardigan tradition. Happy birthday to your mom!

    • It was your meeting with Undine that inspired me to start her story again. She’s lovely to watch on the page, though I’d hate to meet her in real life. The birthday cardigan tradition may be during to a close, now my mum is spending more time in bed, or it may change into a shawl or bedjacket tradition instead,

  3. So glad your taken with Calvino – look forward to reading your review! The idea of the birthday cardigan is lovely, particularly as older people (I’m thinking of my mother-in-law!) don’t want lots of *stuff* as gifts. If I was a better knitter I would do something like this…… 😉

      • I must confess I find it hard to write about Calvino myself – I just want to keep saying “This is too brilliant for me to possibly write about, just read him!!”

    • I picked the book up from the library today, I’m amazed with so much in the story – the War of the Roses, the Woodvilles, Richard III, the founding of the Tudor dynasty – that not many historical novelists have taken up her story.

  4. Love your A-Z posts, and am glad you’re enjoying If on a Winter’s Night. The first half was wonderful, but I finished too soon and took a long break…. now I can’t seem to get back into it 😦

  5. Your A-Z posts are so clever & entertaining, and I find myself trying to think of my own entries for the letters. I hope you’re feeling better, and that things are sorting themselves out.

    • The Alison Uttley arrived today, and I may be consulting the list again as there are some unfamiliar names in the list of new books for 1945. It’s a wonderful piece of work, but I suspect it will play havoc with my book budget.

      I will be reading the Betty Miller, but the Uttley is calling more loudly, and I always worry that the library won’t hang on to old books forever and I’ll miss my chance.

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